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Coops' Masters : Pinning Tail on the Donkey

Saturday-Scratch Race

Following a crash plan top secret 2 day track training camp hangin on to the GA's back wheel in deepest Warwickshire I rocked upto Newport knowing that the track legs weren't quite there this year, lack of form, a strong age group in the C's and I knew I was on for a weekend of pain!!
And so the scratch race... 16 of the UK's fastest 40's lined the fence for a tactical cat and mouse affair, the on/off pace soon whittled the field down to a lead group of 7 including all the hot favourites with the remainder quarter of a lap down with 30 to go... and yep might've guessed this Donkey was out the arse... head down winding up the gear I took off solo on my pimped out Track Stealth and closed them down in 3 lung bursting, lactate blasting laps!! Swingin at the back, quietly chuffed that at least I had the horsepower to get there, blowing like a Waterbuffallow (...and quite probably looking like one!!) the decisive move went clear with multi national champ Bryan Taylor, hot to trot escape artist Ollie Davis and renaissance fastman Chris Bush forcing the pace to go clear. Despite a concerted chase and a do or die effort with 5 to go, we just couldn't make any inroads into the lead with a decisive victory going to Bryan Taylor, I rolled over in the wheels for 6th place.

Sunday-Points Race Day!!

OK so now I knew I wasn't on fire but hey anything can happen in a bike race and I was determined to have a crack today. We rolled off the fence into a cagey opening pace with nobody willing to take it up 'til the first sprint, Fenland Warrior Phil Hetzel took off solo 3laps out from the gallop riding hard for the 5 points only to be reeled in the following lap, now I had a plan (for a change...) follow the wheels on the gallop and turn the screw when the contenders swing up and so I did... gassing on hoping to hell that someone comes with me.. looking back and sweet, 3 strong boys to share the work! We knuckled down well with a 50m lead upto the next sprint... when ya in a break in a points race you can either gamble on staying away and sort the points between you or contest the points and risk breaking up the train... with Phil already on the board he rolled over the top to take the points and the break in pace was all the chasers needed to double their efforts and pull us back. OK thats cool I've scored and I'm feeling pretty quick so a big leadout from 2 laps out saw me take 2nd in the next sprint... too much gas, not enough lungs, recovering from the effort and the move goes and it looks good, yesterday's protagonist's Ollie and Chris along with todays strong man Phil Hetzel. The hammer goes down and I'm at the back of the 5 remaining riders and I'm hangin, 10 laps of purgatory follow your whole world narrowing to the rear hub that seems determined to just cruise away from you. With 3 guys away, us chasers were now contesting for the remaining 2 points on offer in the closing 20 laps, one last dig and I managed the sprint by the skin off my teeth... but there's no hangin on now the last wheel cruises past just beyond reach and I'm gone... 1 length stretches to 2 that stretches to 10m and thats it I'm fried 10 laps to go glancing at the board and I'm 5th out in no mans land... just hold on don't lose the lap you ass... Wayno's voice from Boggle driftng around my head 'Thees  reet Tailwind Charlies yorn trackies...' pushing on I keep the gap at half a lap with the breakaway breathing down my neck, 5 to go and they come past like a train... I let them go out to a few lengths to keep the comms sweet then hang in the tow... man that was a long kilometre!! Looking upto the board through a lactate haze and I've held onto 6th.. my worst showing in 5 years but oddly enough I'm pretty chuffed, after the illness and injury hampering this years prep I've come away from these champs having re-learnt a valuable lesson in cycling... how to go deep and suffer . Bring on the Euro's.
 
Photo's courtesy of Jeff Baird.

13 July 2010

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